Thursday, 28 April 2011

Siobhan joins VisitBrighton

Hello Brightonians and those from further afield! I am the new Marketing Assistant and I started at VisitBrighton last week. I have been given a warm and friendly welcome by all (despite my having conjunctivitis on the first day) and hope you shall enjoy reading my first ever blog!

In my first week, I was treated to the press launch of the Cultural Quarter in the centre of Brighton. This central area links the Theatre Royal, Royal Pavilion, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery and Brighton Dome. We were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the Theatre Royal, going under the stage and learning all about royal boxes and secret seats for royal mistresses – we even got to see where Laurence Olivier played cards between scenes! We were also shown where the Brighton Dome Foyer Bar now connects with the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery – good coffee and I want one of the red sofas!

This week I attended the launch party for the Artists’ Open Houses and have noticed that despite our external politeness, we are in fact nosey creatures. Perhaps this is why the Artists’ Open Houses is such a success. Now in its 30th year, the Open Houses are an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary artistic expressions, as well as an inspiring insight into the architecture of the city, or just a good chance to get a peek behind otherwise closed doors!

Suffice to say that I have had a great start to my new job, and am really going to enjoy attending events and meeting loads of new people. I’m also going to enjoy continuing to rave about this great city!

Till next time,


Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Win a break in Brighton for the opening weekend of the Brighton Festival

As I'm sure you are all aware by now the Brighton Festival will soon be upon us as the Children's Parade gets the Festival off to a spectacular start on Saturday 7th May.

If you haven't planned anything yet there is still time to enter our fantastic competition to win a break in the city including accommodation and tickets to three Brighton Festival events.

This exciting prize includes:

* 2 nights accommodation in a sea-view room at the Hilton Brighton Metropole on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th May.
* Tickets for 2 people to Asian Dub Foundation Music of Resistance (7th May); Philip Hensher & Louise Doughty (8th May) and Beethoven's Fidelio (8th May).

On top of this there will be a wide range of free events taking place including Jardin Flambeau, Everything Looks Beautiful in Slow Motion and The Boat Project as well as the Brighton Festival Fringe and Artists Open Houses. Phew!

To enter the competition, visit our website and answer the ridiculously easy the question. Good luck!


Tuesday, 12 April 2011

A chef's perfect Sunday in Brighton

Today I am going to hand you over to Ben the co-owner and head chef of the city's Gingerman restaurants - The Gingerman, The Ginger Pig, The Ginger Fox and The Ginger Dog. Here he tells us his ideal way to spend a rare day off...

Sunday is generally the one day where the alarm is not set for 7.30am, that’s not to say that Grace, 5 and Freddie, 3 won’t wake up at that time. Sunday is the one day where we are not in a rush to do things. No school, no nursery and generally no work. Running four restaurants in Brighton is mostly a seven days a week process, there are phone calls and e mails to sort out, food to cook and problems to solve but Sunday is usually a family day.

The start of the day is slow, kids in our bed watching telly while we read the papers, lots of tea, toast and coffee is needed as is a crowbar to get us from horizontal to vertical. We will then head directly south, to Hove Lawns, with some friends, the kids will run around or ride their bikes up and down. Our first destination will be the playground on the beach next to Alfresco. The kids will climb and tumble around for a while, the hope is they will exhaust themselves enough so as to be good for lunch.

China Garden on Preston Street for dim sum is one of my favourite restaurants. We book a table for 12 or so, if there are more of us than that we book an adults and a kids table. This is a potentially dangerous strategy but the added responsibility usually ensures well behaved children.

Dim sum is the nicest way to eat Chinese food. I like a variety of small dishes, tapas like, that come as and when they are ready. Steamed prawn and vegetable dumplings, Malaysian ho fun noodles, fried soft shell crab with chilli, prawn and sesame toast, pork and crab dumplings, turnip paste and salt and pepper squid are all a must. Pastry wrapped cheung fun, a sort of rice dough cannelloni is great and chicken feet in black bean if you are feeling a little adventurous.

The staff are great (they seem to actually like children) and it is not expensive. My wife Pamela tends to order what seems like the entire menu and we just relax and chat. When the kids have finished they go under the table, the table cloths form a sort of den. There they can do colouring or watch DVD’s from a portable DVD player, essential kit for foodie parents.

We will leave a little after 5.30pm and head home to sort out homework and school uniforms for the dreaded Monday morning.

To find out more about Ben's own restaruants go to:

Monday, 4 April 2011

Brighton Marathon - the final update.

Here is the final guest post from The Grand's General Manager Andrew Mosley as he prepares to run his first marathon this Sunday...

“I don’t think I heard you correctly” I said. And drew a deep breath.

Some one had just told me that the marathon was less than 2 weeks away.

“How’s your training going?”

Of course I know that the marathon is less than 2 weeks away. But it still doesn’t seem real. More than anything else I still can’t picture in my mind what 150,000 spectators lining the route will look or feel like and I guess that’s the bit I’m most looking forward to. All of my training has been along sections of the marathon route. So much of the time it has just been me and the empty space. Soon it will be very different.

Regarding the answer to the other question about my training. It’s fine – thanks. It hurts – every time. I would always prefer to be sitting in a warm bar somewhere.

It’s always the people that aren’t doing the marathon that ask. Those that are know the answers! It’s nice to know you all care so much – thanks!

Given that this is the last 2 weeks, this week I completed my 20 mile run. Now, you remember those few lovely sunny days when Brighton felt like Brighton again recently? Well I didn’t go out on any of those days. No - instead I had diarised to go out a day later. You know, when it was raining a bit, very misty and blowing a force 7. Lovely

During my run I met with Adrian, a fellow novice marathoner and a “40 something” all round good bloke.

We ran together along the under cliff path from the marina to Rottingdean. It was great to have company and for the first time I got a taste of how camaraderie might get me through this thing. There weren’t many people about. Just a few old ladies walking their little dogs. We didn’t run at too great a pace. However we did manage to just pip the old folk to the “finish line” by The White Horse

Adrian carried on to Saltdean. I turned back home. In to the Force 7 gale! I wanted to be Adrian

On one last matter Adrian made my day. “I recognise you from the tele” he said having watched me on “Put your money where your mouth is” the previous week where I bought a table off a friendly antiques chap for £200. The table looks lovely in the Grand lobby. I think we both silently acknowledged that Adrian could possibly do with getting out more so it’s good to know that he is!

There was no time for an autograph. I was too busy worrying about the wind.

I wish Adrian and all my fellow runners all the best for the 10th. Let’s stick together – we can do this you know!

If you find my BLOG vaguely amusing or want to find out more why not follow our comments on Twitter? Just search for Grandbrighton.

And don’t forget our team’s Just Giving Page.


*Everyone here at LoveBrighton would like to thank Andrew for keeping us up to date on his training and of course we wish you, and all the runners, the very best of luck for Sunday.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Radical Bloomsbury

During a group press trip last year I was fortunate enough to get to visit Charelston which was the country home of the Bloomsbury set. The house in Firle (near Lewes) was transformed by the artists Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell who painted walls and furniture and filled the house with ceramics and works of art from their collection.

The house gives a fascinating insight into the lives of the artists and from the 16th April Brighton Musuem & Art Gallery will be celebrating their work with a new exhibition - Radical Bloomsbury: The Art of Duncan Grant & Vanessa Bell 1905 - 1925. The exhibition looks at the contribution the artists made to the development of 20th century British painting and shows that in their day the Bloomsbury artists work was radical. Loans include pictures from national and regional galleries throughout England and from private collectors, including some works that have rarely been seen in public before.

Image - Duncan Grant: 'Bathing' 1911

The exhibition opens on Saturday 16th April and will be at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery until Sunday 9th October.